In my efforts to become the authority on Major League Baseball, and now its affiliates, baseball caps I am bringing you the rankings of caps in MiLB’s Copa de la Diversion. If you are not familiar with the Copa de la Diversion it is the next step of MLB’s efforts to reach out to latino communities. 33 teams across the minor leagues will undergo a bit of a rebranding for a 160 game event starting on April 8th. There are some fantastic designs and changes and others, well, not so much. I have divided the them caps into tiers of how well they’ve done.
San Antonio Flying Chanclas - If you grew up a child in a latino household or have listened to a hispanic comedian do stand up you understand the fear a chancla can induce. This also has the added bonus of getting to read writers try to explain the importance of chanclas in some grandiose way. Hispanic children get hit by them, often, that’s it. Fluorescent colors and two tones are always kind of hard to pull off but you’re about to see a lot of them and this one did better than any. The pink eyelets and yellow button should clash however since they are both in the logo it works really well.
Corpus Christi Raspas - Who doesn’t love Raspas? Liars, that’s who. Anyone who tells you they don't enjoy frozen treats are lying to you, even people who are dead inside love them. The simple design is exactly what is needed because it lets the artwork of the raspa, which gets better the more you look at it, really shine.
San Bernardino Cucuys - Every hispanic parents favorite and most effective bargaining chip is now baseball’s most feared mascot. According to MiLB’s shop the face of the terror inducing spectral figure will glow in the dark but the yellow outline makes it pop under any lighting. The grey and black color scheme looks really good and its drabness makes the mascot outline look even better.
Round Rock Chupacabras - There is little that needs to be said about this. Everyone who has seen this cap wants it. I have never seen that shade of green on cap before and it’s awesome. The simple logo with the mythical creature featuring a hornhawk looks really cool and especially pops when combined with the same green piping.
Sacramento Dorados - This one is totally not based on personal bias of a professional wrestling fan. It’s black and gold and has a luchador what more is there to ask for? Again a simple mascot logo with the cool added feature of having Sacramento’s official team, the River Cats, S logo incorporated into the mask. The only way this could get better is if it was an actual Rey Mysterio mask.
Los Chivos de Hartford - The shade of blue on this cap is rarely used and very underrated and the golden accents really help to elevate it it above a lot of others caps in the Copa. The logo is really simple like any good mascot cap should be but is also manages to stay on brand with the skull being painted like a sugar skull. Another factor in this is their name change, which went from the Yard Goats to Los Chivos which translates to, you guessed it, goat.
Mariachis de Nuevo México - The two tone black and white panels complemented by the red bill is a simple and good look. The mariachi logo is pretty cool looking in it’s own right especially since they made sure to include the tie and the accents add a nice touch. However the logo could’ve been improved on. Had it been a large mustachioed human face belting out a grito this would have been one of the top three easily.
Memphis Música - The logo and accents are everything on this one. The club like sign look and different colors used on the logo piping, eyelets and button seem to capture the feel of a city hailed as the birthplace of rock and roll. Even looking at it too long will give you a phantom neon ring in your ear.
Monarcas de Eugene - Normally known as the Emeralds this team is adopting the Monarch Butterfly because of the symbolism of their migration and it’s parallel to latino community in America. Equally as detailed as it is thought out the the butterfly logo really pops off the black the of the cap and the yellow bill and button give it the final touches it deserves.
Charlotte Caballeros - Purple caps are pretty unique and seeing them typically makes you take notice right away. Most baseball team caps only have the hometown’s first letter so this being one of few with that style in the copa is what helps to get it into the second tier. The regal design and colors on the purple give this is royal style fitting of the Queen City
San Jose Gigantes - This is probably the most simplistic of all the designs and looks like a generic baseball cap in video game editor but that is why it deserves some recognition. It lacks the flair of the Caballeros design but it’s subtlety is it’s greatest strength. It’s the kind of inconspicuous cap you can wear anywear day in and day out, not many of the Copa caps have that kind of utility. Keeping the colorway and mascot of the team’s parent club also gave it a few extra points.
Omaha Cazadores de Tormentas - This hat’s baby blue accents are it’s most distinct characteristics and against the black they look great. Simple mascot logo that portrays the Storm Chaser as clearly as possible works well and dude has a mean mug like any mascot needs to strike fear into their opponents hearts unless that opponent is the Cucuys obviously.
Cielo Azul de Oklahoma City - The idea for this name change is probably the best, a Dodgers affiliate, the Oklahoma City team wanted to incorporate blue in their name to honor them. For this they also did one better as the Skies moniker comes from Dodgers legend and Mexican hero Fernando Valenzuela looking to the sky as part of his delivery. The baby blue and orange are not the easiest on the eyes but they are very similar to the Thunder’s which gives a nice uniformity to the cities teams.
Tortugas de Daytona - This cap is really simple and has some of the best elements that go into a classic baseball cap. The city initial, a mascot with a baseball twist(holding a bat) and mostly solid color. The eyelets here are a bit distracting however because they are similar to the blue in color. The name comes from the Tortuga Islands which were explored by Ponce de Leon who was the first explorer to land in Florida so the nickname is on par with the best of the ones on here.
Las Vegas Reyes De Plata - This might be the only cap with this shade of blue that I’ve seen so it gets credit for that. This uncommon color really allows the white and silver logo stand out. The new mascot is a play on Nevada’s nickname the Silver State and it looks pretty cool but sugar skull accents are a bit unnecessary, not all of us celebrate Dia de los Muertos.
Toros de Durham - The better of the two Bulls teams this one, blows the other out of the water. The dark accents on black are subtle and the logo was done really well. It even kind of looks like the bull has a black eye as if saying you should see the other guy. I like it better that the tired old logo they’ve had for the longest time now and something they should consider keeping after the copa.
Everett Conquistadores - The sum of this cap’s parts are better than it’s whole. The navy and orange colorway is one that always looks good but when combined with the mascot this cap gets a to be a little much. It’s not even a bad mascot, they threw a conquistador helmet on the Everett AquaSox existing mascot, Webby, so it is a nice tie in to the original team. There is something indescribable about why this cap doesn’t work it just kind of looks like a mess.
Stockton Caballos - More of an NFL looking cap than any of the others the colorway just seems wrong to my eyes. It is not the fluorescent orange of the Astros/Marlins or burnt orange of Texas, it is bad shade of the color. The logo modeled after the iron horse nickname for trains that brought the first Hispanic immigrants to Stockton is oversized and a primary factor of it’s placing in the third tier.
Cangrejos Fantasmas de Chesapeake (Bowie) - This category is where the caps start to see a noticeable drop off. The eyelets break up the monotony of the otherwise solid black and the teal combo is pretty good looking. Even though the ghost crab, complete with sheet ghost costume, is cute it has nothing to with the latino community so it gets docked some points. They did however capture the crustacean loving culture of the areas around the bay so that’s worth something.
Petroleros de Tulsa - The design is alright, simple mascot face that matches the cap. The white and yellow two tone doesn’t really work as the colors are very similar. This would’ve been better it they had done another combination of colors, even a radical front patch of black with the other panels being white or yellow would’ve been a bold design worthy of praise but this one, eh. Another gripe here is, like Bowie, the nickname Petroleros also has nothing to do with the latino community and while other teams expressively tried to communicate their connections Tulsa seems to not care about doing so.
Abejas de Salt Lake - This one wasn’t available on the MiLB store and that could be because its just be a recycled designed for a failed Salt Lake franchise. It’s plain and unremarkable but there is nothing necessarily bad about it.
Visalia Toros - The black front panel and gold accents are the only saving grace to this cap but it could’ve been better with a white bill to make it really stand out. The logo is about as simple as it could be and integrating the city’s letter is good but it is still an ugly design.
Rápidos de Kannapolis - Known for its motorsports and being the hometown of the original Earnhardt they use the roadrunner for their mascot. Their official logo is way better the one on this cap and should’ve been the one they went with. Had they done so and not gone with the unlicensed looking version this would jump at least one tier and possibly even two. Fluorescent orange caps are amazing and this one is no exception especially with the purple button but the mascot is just too ugly to place any higher than here.
El Paso Chihuahuas - Being originally from this city I am very disappointed with our contribution. Literally all they did was make an uglier version of a cap they already sell. I might be judging this too hard because I have some inside knowledge but it is still valid criticism. This would have been the perfect time play with another mascot like the fan favorite(when voting for the teams name was a thing) Gators or officially throwing back to the city’s now defunct independent league team, the Diablos. Even The Irrelevant’s Rod’s suggestion of the Pochos would’ve been infinitely better than this. There is very little to like about this at all, way to go El Paso
Pawtucket Osos Polares - White cap, mostly white logo for a mostly white community, seems about right. Not for nothing you’d think a parent club with a long track record of, lets say failing to diversify, would do a little better than Polar Bears with an “immigrant” story during a hispanic event. While I have praised other teams for integrating their mascots Pawtucket’s addition of unnecessary native american esque markings on the cap seem to be at best tone deaf and at worst offensive.
Hillsboro Lúpulos - I’m going to give this as much effort as the Lúpulos did, they used a rejected logo, changed the bill color and translated their name, clearly somebody in this organization forgot the assignment was due or is trying to get fired.
Kane County Cougars - They didn’t even translate their name, they just slapped their stupid logo on stupid brown hats and were done. Considering they’re boasting about the 30% hispanic population of Kane County in their press releases they should be ashamed they let all those people down.
Good Job,Good Effort
Brooklyn Jefes - This tier is for teams that actually tried but just didn’t quite hit the mark. It’s so Brooklyn to name their team this and put a crown on their cap. The city that houses the lamest sports franchise in the world did a good job of integrating their community with a hip-hop stylized logo that incorporates the bridge and their superior mentality but this design should’ve been left on the shelf. The silver and grey is also reminiscent of a Cowboys design, just all around swing and a miss on this one guys.
Greenville Energía - Normally the called the Drive, after the citizens drive “making the city what it is” they used the word energy to capture that same meaning. Yawn. The design is ok enough but unnoteworthy. If any of one of these were secretly an actual major league team’s I would pick this after Salt Lake’s meaning it’s not even the drabbest in the contest.
Lehigh Valley Tocino - There are people who actually like this one. It translates to bacon and the lettering is done with a bacon theme. This is beause they are normally the Iron Pigs and recently adopted a hat with a bacon logo, so major points here. However this thing looks like a swap meet cap. It should probably get a lot of credit for that given the theme but still there are too many colors and they make the whole thing look chafa.
Rancho Cucamonga Temblores - Clever I will give them that but it is simply a letter T with motion lines, wow. I think the highlight is the fault line on the bill which seems like a unique and cool idea but this is baseball and these caps are serious business. What happens when an ump throws out a picture for a mysterious substance on his cap? Someone is going to look really silly.
Winston-Salem Rayados - In their release they mentions the striped ones translation and then go on to mention that it loosely translates to bolt, like their real mascot. Which one is it guys? Either way, this cap is weird looking and just red, nothing to see here.
Lake Elsinore Storm - I hope MLB purchased the No Fear brand otherwise there may be a costly lawsuit coming